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  #1  
Old 2008-03-11, 09:31 AM
Inspector Phil Acker's Avatar
Inspector Phil Acker Inspector Phil Acker is offline
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Default Ask Phil - Home Inspector

I'm starting this forum thread for member questions about new homes. By way of introduction, I am a Registered Home Inspector with both the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors and the American Society of Home Inspectors. I am also a member of the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors. When retaining a home inspector, you should ask for professional credentials, and all professional fee-paid inspectors should be members of at least one of the above associations as assurance for training, experience, education and qualification to perform home inspections. In addition, I am a Professional Engineer, registered by Professional Engineers of Ontario and have the designation P.Eng.

My business is primarily new home inspections, with most of my clients being homeowners wanting home inspections to help them in their warranty claims process.
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  #2  
Old 2008-03-11, 09:50 AM
1st_home_w_jitters 1st_home_w_jitters is offline
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Default A question for you . . .

I have two questions:

1) When is the best time to get a home inspector (assuming that you only hire an inspector once for the entire building process):

a) during the PDI
b) before the 30 day inspection after closing
c) before the 1st year is up.

The consensus from this forum appears to be option c) - what is your take?

2) My second question is more of a personal question. I am buying a Mattamy Village Home - no basement - therefore the foundation is going to be all covered in drywall and any cracks in the foundation won't be visible. Is this a problem for the inspection process - how do I know its a quality job. I am sure it would be, especially because they also have city inspectors, but should this pose a problem at all?

Thanks and welcome to the forum. Lots of good discussions here!
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  #3  
Old 2008-03-11, 10:49 AM
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Inspector Phil Acker Inspector Phil Acker is offline
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Default When to have an inspection

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1st_home_w_jitters View Post
When is the best time to get a home inspector (assuming that you only hire an inspector once for the entire building process):

a) during the PDI
b) before the 30 day inspection after closing
c) before the 1st year is up.

The consensus from this forum appears to be option c) - what is your take?
I'm going to answer this based on experience, with the caution that I don't want this to sound self-serving. New homes should have two inspections. The first is at the PDI/30-day period. The purpose is to identify current deficiencies and to document items that are incomplete. If I were asked what are the priority concerns, the first would be deficiencies related to health and safety (for example handrails are missing), the second would be conditions that are performance-affecting (such as the furnace doesn't respond), the third would be future affects (such as insufficient insulation can result in higher energy costs and affect home comfort), and finally cosmetic (e.g. the baseboard is loose). The second inspection is at the year end. Defects are not always apparent at the time of construction but become apparent after the house has been lived in and has seen at least one cycle of seasonal affects. For example, air infiltration due to incomplete air/vapour barrier may not be apparent until you feel a cold draft. Shingles need heat and time to bond, and this is best done at the year end.

When we've done PDI/30-day inspections, its not unusual for us to also perform the year-end for these clients. I've had a few that have also called us back for the 2-year, where they've had problems with builder responses.
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Last edited by GregS; 2008-03-11 at 04:49 PM. Reason: fixed quote
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Old 2010-04-28, 08:22 PM
pfdude pfdude is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inspector Phil Acker View Post
I'm going to answer this based on experience, with the caution that I don't want this to sound self-serving. New homes should have two inspections. The first is at the PDI/30-day period. ... The second inspection is at the year end.
Sorry if you already answered this but is there any point to getting an inspection for the framewalk?
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  #5  
Old 2010-04-28, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pfdude View Post
Sorry if you already answered this but is there any point to getting an inspection for the framewalk?
I view the framewalk as a courtesy of the builder to the home purchaser. I do not believe that it is any builder's intent to open this as an inspection point for an independant review by a home inspector. To answer your question, there is a level of confidence that can be achieved by having an inspection performed while there is no drywall in place, which permits inspection of components that will ultimately be concealed before the home is purchased. If this is the level of confidence you need, then perhaps it is a good idea to have an inspector along.

In the inspection industry, I would like to see a protocol for this form of inspection. Until that is in place, I personally do not like the idea of going on framewalks as an inspector for the new home purchaser.
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  #6  
Old 2008-03-13, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1st_home_w_jitters View Post

2) My second question is more of a personal question. I am buying a Mattamy Village Home - no basement - therefore the foundation is going to be all covered in drywall and any cracks in the foundation won't be visible. Is this a problem for the inspection process - how do I know its a quality job. I am sure it would be, especially because they also have city inspectors, but should this pose a problem at all?
I think your concern relates to the potential for future foundation issues. The inspection process alone will not provide assurance that there are not going to be any problems; there needs to be a passage of time that would permit problems to present themselves. A home inspection will examine only those aspects of the structure that are visible. Many of the structural parts of homes are hidden, so this is an inherent restriction for a visual inspection. The inspection does look for clues that there may be concerns with elements that cannot be seen, and these secondary observations could include things like settlement in brickwork, deflection in the floor, unexpected separation in wall or ceiling corners, etc.

So how do you know if its a quality job? In large part, you'll probably know within the first two years if there is a major problem if related to construction, but it may take up to 10 years to be confident that there are no significant subsurface problems.
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Old 2008-03-14, 01:07 PM
Katherine&Chris Katherine&Chris is offline
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Dear Phil,

Are you aware of any building code issues, or other known issues, with having an over the range microwave over a gas stove? We would like to put an OTR microwave over our gas stove. The max output on our range is 16200 BTU on the power burner. Is there a minimum clearance required in the building code between the bottom of the OTR and the top of the range? Are there requirements in the code as to how much many CFM are needed to vent it?

Thank you!

this thread has more details and questions about the context of my question:

http://www.buildinghomes.ca/communit...ead.php?t=4699
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  #8  
Old 2008-03-14, 11:35 PM
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Inspector Phil Acker Inspector Phil Acker is offline
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This issue is heating up. Clearances above the range are critical for safety. The builders know clearance requirements and need to know the manufacturer and model of the unit to be installed in order to make sure the unit is correct for the cabinet configuration over the stove. This is a safety issue, and my providing advice on clearances in a generic sense can jeopardize your safety.

I recommend that you work with your builder for cabinet selection; the builder needs to know which equipment you intend to install. If you choose not to go with the builder options, if provided, for the stove or microwave, then as a mimimum you will need to refer to the manufacturer's installation instructions for clearances. The gas stove, ventilation, and above-range equipment should be installed or verified by a technician qualified for gas code installations.

I look at clearances as part of my inspection process, but this is context of seeing the assembly of stove, counters, cabinets, and above-counter equipment installed.
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  #9  
Old 2008-03-16, 10:26 PM
Joseph Joseph is offline
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Hi Phil,

Nice to have someone who knows the building code... now I don't have to go bug a buddy of mine to find the answer all the time

What is your recommendation about having an inspector come during the "frame walk" (some builders call it something differently - but this is the time when the builder walks you thru the home just before the drywall goes up)?

I would assume there are things you could see only (or much easier) without the drywall in the way.

Thanks
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  #10  
Old 2008-03-28, 01:09 PM
mabouseido mabouseido is offline
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Default Home inspection during construction

Hi,

I was told by many that don't bother get a home inspector for new homes during construction. Even if you want to change something, they will not do it as long as it is within the code.

I don't mind paying to an inspector, as long as I am getting the value of my money.

Any feedback on is highly appreciated. Is the cost as one amount or per visit and what should I expect back from the inspector?

Thasks.
Mazin
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